It is difficult, if not outright impossible, to think of an industry that does not involve stainless steel. Not only is the material used in the manufacture of the thousands of products that facilitate modern life, it is also widely used in the transportation of these products, not to mention in the production of the oil and gas that powers the transportation vehicles. One of the key sectors in which stainless steel is especially useful is the sector that literally keeps us all alive: food and beverage production.
Stainless steel has numerous qualities that make it the metal of choice in the food and beverage industries. Aside from its innate durability, its unmatched versatility and its ability to perform well at both high and low temperatures, stainless steel is one of the most hygienic materials in this demanding sector.
As stainless steel is such a naturally smooth material, it is especially easy to keep clean and displays extremely low retention of potentially-harmful bacteria. This property means that, as well as being used to create components that are in direct contact with food, stainless steel is also the ideal material for many other components within food production areas such as door handles, fixtures, fastenings and hand-operated elements of machinery.
Another key quality of stainless steel is its exceptional resistance to corrosion. Even microscopic areas of corrosion can dramatically increase a material’s bacterial retention, long before any visible signs of the problem become evident. Many food and beverage products contain high levels of acid and salt which can accelerate the potential for corrosion and subsequent retention of bacteria. As well as posing a potential health risk, such bacteria can also negatively affect the flavour of foods and beverages.
Grade 316 stainless steel, sometimes referred to as 1.4401, is known as ‘food grade’ and is the most common choice in food and beverage production and preparation environments. This alloy contains added molybdenum, which enhances the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel: the material is thus able to easily withstand the salts and acids found in many foods as well as attack from the aggressive, caustic chemicals used to keep the environment scrupulously clean.
BS Stainless supplies a comprehensive range of Grade 316 stainless steel materials that are used to create an infinite array of components for use in the vital food and beverage industries. Please browse our website to find out more.